• Shale gas development and healthy water sources

    Geological formation known as the Marcellus Shale contains gas reservoir holding nearly 500 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable gas; at current use rates, that volume could meet the U.S. demand for natural gas for more than twenty years; trouble is, extracting shale gas involves considerable pollution risks for water; Pennsylvania has more miles of stream per unit land area than any other state in the United States – and it is concerned about the quality of its water if more shale gas is extracted

  • Chicago emergency officials preparing for harsh winter

    As Chicago braces for an especially brutal winter, the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is doing its best to prepare residents, emergency responders, and work crews for the worst weather in the nation

  • Double whammy: dinosaurs killed by massive volcanoes, meteorite impacts

    The mass extinction of the dinosaurs, which occurred at the end of the Cretaceous period sixty-five million years ago, was the result not of one catastrophic event (meteorite strike) but rather the result of a catastrophic one-two punch: colossal volcanic eruptions and meteorite strikes

  • Rebuilding dried-up swamps to protect New Orleans from hurricanes

    During the past four decades, swamps and wetlands which used to offer New Orleans a natural defense against hurricane, were dried and paved over. The city has launched a new project to restore a key area of cypress swampland near the Lower 9th Ward, an effort they called essential to protecting the metro area in the event of another major hurricane.

  • White House: no evidence of, contact with extra terrestrials

    Two petitions, signed by 17,000, were submitted to the White house; the first demanded immediate disclosure of the U.S. government’s knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings, the second a formal acknowledgement from the White House that extraterrestrials have been engaging the human race; in response, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy wrote that the U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race

  • Leeds sludge experts target nuclear waste

    Researchers from the University of Leeds have teamed up with Sellafield Ltd. to clean up radioactive sludge produced by the U.K. nuclear industry; the newly formed Sludge Center of Expertise will play a key role in describing the behavior of the sludge wastes that have arisen after years of operation at Sellafield and other nuclear sites across the United Kingdom

  • A new pest threatens U.S. agriculture -- iPhone owners can help

    A new meandering pest — the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) — is feasting on many of North America’s most important crops, posing an unprecedented threat to U.S. agriculture; the value of susceptible crops in the thirty-three states where BMSB has been established or sighted exceeds $21 billion

  • Environmentalists in arms over border decision

    Yesterday, House Natural Resources Committee 26-17 vote to approve H.R. 1505, the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act; the proposed legislation would waive thirty-six environmental and other laws for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol activities on public lands within 100 miles of U.S. borders; environmentalists are angry

  • Protecting structures against firebrand attack

    NIST engineers have built a device that bellows showers of glowing embers, or firebrands, to test how structures can withstand this destructive aspects of wild fires; in Japan, where the device is now used in a test facility, firebrands are a growing peril that accounts for half of the nation’s ten most costly fires

  • Global water market could hit $800 billion by 2035

    Analysts are predicting that the global market for water could grow dramatically over the next two decades, with some projecting a $1 trillion market in 2020; “Water is the fastest growing market at the moment, with a size of $500 billion globally,” said Harri Kerminen, the president and CEO of Finnish chemical firm Kemira

  • Environmentalists worry border environment protection

    Environmentalists have taken aim at an amendment to the Senate appropriations bill for DHS that would allow border enforcement agencies ultimate authority within 100-miles of the U.S. border

  • Designing a new grid pylon

    There are more than 88,000 pylons in the United Kingdom; they stand some 50-meters high, weigh around twenty tons, and carry up to 400,000 volts of electricity over thousands of kilometers of some of the most exposed, weather-beaten parts of Britain; the familiar steel lattice tower has barely changed since the 1920s; National Grid says it is time for a change

  • Earth's largest environmental catastrophe: 250 million year anniversary

    The eruption of giant masses of magma in Siberia 250 million years ago led to the Permo-Triassic mass extinction when more than 90 percent of all species became extinct

  • Saltwater intrusion threatens South Florida’s water supplies

    South Florida’s water supply is becoming increasingly endangered by saltwater that is steadily seeping in from the ocean and contaminating supplies; despite the best efforts of local communities to stop the problem, saltwater intrusion is spreading

  • Texas drought forces military to change training

    A particularly severe drought in Texas has forced the military to change the way it trains its soldiers due to the risk of starting fires; law enforcement agencies would benefit from taking note of additional safety measures put into place